The San Francisco 49ers must decide whether they want to exercise right tackle Mike McGlinchey’s fifth-year option by May 3. If they pick up his fifth-year option, McGlinchey would be under contract through 2022 and would cost $10.88 million for that season.
Pro Football talk went through each first-rounder from the class of 2018. Since McGlinchey fit the playing time criteria — he’s played 75% of snaps or greater in two of the first three seasons — he gets the average of the third-20th highest salaries at right tackle. Players like Quenton Nelson and Josh Allen get even bigger pay bumps as they’ve reached the Pro Bowl.
Any other player who didn’t earn more because they made the Pro Bowl or playing time gets the average salary between the third player at their position through the 25th-highest salary.
After the season, Kyle Shanahan mentioned that the team hadn’t discussed picking up McGlinchey’s fifth-year option but also admitted that he didn’t realize it was coming up already. He feels “pretty good” about McGlinchey. Shanahan said he’s confident McGlinchey will “bounce back” in 2021.
I feel like I’m in the minority when I say San Francisco should extend McGlinchey. They’d save $1.7 million against the cap this season, and you’d get out in front from having to pay McGlinchey $10.88 million guaranteed in 2022. When the new CBA was agreed to last June, fifth-year options became fully guaranteed at the time they were exercised, starting with the 2018 draft class.
McGlinchey’s fifth-year option would price tag would make him the sixth-highest paid right tackle in the NFL. By extending McGlinchey, you’d control his cap number for this upcoming season and beyond. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the 49ers are a lot higher on their right tackle than the fan base is.
It’s unfair to expect an offensive lineman not to get beaten a few times on 35 dropbacks. That type of success rate would be applauded for any other position. What McGlinchey must limit are the plays where he flat out whiffs and doesn’t give the quarterback a shot to make a play.
When the 49ers drafted McGlinchey, they knew he came with issues in pass protection. They also knew he was a dominant run blocker, and McGlinchey has been exactly that. Instead of focusing on ten bad reps out of 1,000, I’d expect the Niners to extend McGlinchey, continue to coach him up, so he improves, and lock down your right tackle position for another five seasons.
He’s played 100% of the snaps in two seasons and 73% of the snaps in another season. The last thing you want is a revolving door at right tackle after you thought the grass might be greener if you move on from McGlinchey. No thanks.